24 thefts in 23 years: How this Gujarat burglar targeted guests at luxury hotels
Almost 23 years after Jayesh Ravji Sejpal of Gujarat committed his first theft at Taj Hotel in Mumbai by stealing the laptop of a guest in 2000, he targeted 23 more guests of reputed hotels in various cities of the country
Almost 23 years after Jayesh Ravji Sejpal of Gujarat committed his first theft at Taj Hotel in Mumbai by stealing the laptop of a guest in 2000, he targeted 23 more guests of reputed hotels in various cities of the country. In his recent theft, he stole jewellery and cash worth lakhs from the room of a woman guest at a Karnal hotel on April 30.
These revelations were made by a team of the Karnal police, which arrested Sejpal (52) from Raipur in Chhattisgarh on May 12. During his police remand, Jayesh revealed that in the past 23 years, he had committed 24 thefts by targeting guests of luxury hotels — mostly three to seven star — in cities such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Udaipur, Jalandhar, Jaipur, Agra, Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam, Raipur, Lucknow and Nagpur.
Karnal superintendent of police Shashank Kumar Sawan said during interrogation, it was found that the accused was a catering employee at Taj Hotel in Mumbai. He reportedly conducted his first theft there by stealing a laptop.
The SP said the matter came to light when Nisha, a resident of Pitampura of Delhi, filed a complaint with the police on May 1 that her 150-gm jewellery and ₹5,000 cash had gone missing from the locker of a room in Noor Mahal hotel of Karnal. She informed the police that she came here to attend a wedding.
Acting on her complaint the police registered a case under Sections 380, 454, 419, 420, 201 and 411 of the India Penal Code at Sector 32/33 police station.
The accused was arrested and was produced in a court, which sent him to nine-day police remand. The police also recovered 150-gm jewellery and ₹3,800 from his rented accommodation in Maharashtra, said the SP.
Talking about the modus operandi of the accused, the SP said he was a habitual offender. He used to travel to big cities and observed visitors at luxury hotels. He managed to get contact details of hotels and contacted them for booking a party or a wedding programme. He then used to visit hotels to get details about the programmes and parties which were to take place there. The accused targeted rooms booked by women guests and noted when they leave for the party so that he could enter the room by concocting a story that he forgot the key inside the room and made the staff open the room for him. He would then decamp with valuables, including ornaments and cash.
Arrested on several occasions
The police said during investigation, it was found that he had been arrested on several occasions, but managed to get bail and even had completed his sentence in some cases. Whenever he came out of the jail, he targeted other guests. Even after carrying out the theft at the Karnal hotel, he committed the crime at another Nagpur hotel in Maharashtra, claimed the police.
The police said the accused used to steal jewellery and sell it in the market after melting it. So far, he has stolen jewellery and cash worth several crores.